“That’s a good plan,” said the owner of the Rockhaven. “We might try it, at any rate.”
So this was done. With chart and compass Mr. De Vere, who understood the science of navigation, worked out a plan of traveling about in big sweeps, that took in a goodly portion of that part of the Pacific. They had some strong marine glasses aboard and, with these, they would take an observation, every now and then, to see if there was any sight of the brig. As they did not expect to come upon her close to the harbor of San Felicity, this work was not undertaken until the afternoon of the first day.
In the meanwhile the Ripper’s cabin had been put in ship-shape, bunks were arranged for sleeping and, at his request Bob was put in charge of the galley, to prepare the meals and be cook.
“And mind,” cautioned Jerry, “don’t eat all the things yourself. Give us a chance, once in a while.”
“Of course; what do you think I am?” asked Bob indignantly.
“I don’t think— I know,” replied Jerry with a laugh.
Mr. De Vere could not do much to help the boys as, with his broken arm in a sling, he had to be careful how he moved about so that he would not be tossed against the side of the boat and injured. The Ripper was a large boat, for one of the motor class, but, when it got outside the harbor, and felt the full force of the Pacific swell, it was not as easy riding as the boys had imagined. At first they were a little inclined to be seasick, as it was some time since they had been on such a big stretch of water, but, after a while, they got used to it.
The approach of night found them many miles from the harbor, but they had had no sight of the derelict, nor, did they expect to. If the deserted brig was anywhere in the vicinity, it must be pretty well out to sea, Mr. De Vere told them. So when it got dark, and lights were set aglow in the cozy cabin, it was with light hearts that the boys and their friends gathered around the supper table, Bob had prepared a good meal, and they enjoyed it very much.
They took turns at the night watches, the boat continuing to steam on ahead, and the person on the lookout taking occasional observations of the dark horizon through powerful night glasses.
Morning found them upon a waste of waters, out of sight of land, and with not a sail in view.
“Say, but it’s lonesome,” remarked Bob when he went to the galley to get breakfast. “What a big place the ocean is.”
“I suppose you expected to find a lot of excursion boats out here,” remarked Jerry.
“I did not!” exclaimed Bob. “But I thought we might see a ship or two.”
For two days they cruised about, moving in great circles and keeping a sharp watch for any sight of the derelict. Several times one of the boys, after peering through the glasses, would call that they had sighted her, and the motor boat would be rushed in that direction. But, each time, it only resulted in disappointment for what they saw turned out to be only a bit of wreckage, a big dead fish, or some floating box or barrel, thrown overboard from some ship.